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Fasting Challenge #4

“Mind over matter.”

“Slow and steady wins the race.”

“Stop wishing, start doing.”

“A little bit goes a long way.”

“If you believe it, you can achieve it.”

“No pain, no gain.”

The inspirational quotes above are ones that we have all heard from a parent, a coach, a social media influencer, or, if you can remember from back in the day, Richard Simmons. They serve as reminders that we are meant to “get up and get going”.

This week our fasting challenge is to fast from physical laziness. We're encouraging you to move your body for at least 20 minutes each day for three to five days.

Bible also has some other, and in my opinion better, inspirational quotes that instruct us in avoiding lethargy:

“Go to the ant, you slacker! Observe its ways and become wise. Without leader, administrator, or ruler, it prepares its provisions in summer; it gathers its food during harvest. How long will you stay in bed, you slacker? When will you get up from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the arms to rest, and your poverty will come like a robber, your need, like a bandit.”

-Proverbs 6:6-11

“Because of laziness the roof caves in, and because of negligent hands

the house leaks.” -Ecclesiastes 10:18

“Now we desire each of you to demonstrate the same diligence for the full assurance of your hope until the end, so that you won’t become lazy but will be imitators of those who inherit the promises through faith and perseverance.”

-Hebrews 6: 11-12

“Do not lack diligence in zeal; be fervent in the Spirit; serve the Lord.”

-Romans 12:11

These verses are covering many aspects of laziness: physical, mental, and spiritual. While each of those aspects could be covered in their own article, the one that we want to focus on this week is physical laziness. God asks us to consider our bodies as “temples” or as “living sacrifices”. When you think of your body as a vessel to serve the Lord, it is easy to see the why for fasting from laziness.

But, the how is an age-old question that is asked with each new year resolution kick-off season: How can I be more active? How can I exercise more? How can I get my body back to the “before kids” state? I don’t think those are the right how questions to ask, though. What about: How can exercising be a form of worship? How can focusing on transforming the outside of my body through exercise be renewing my mind and heart? How can I keep the worldly obsessions about fitness from invading my mind and heart?

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says, “Don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. So glorify God with your body.” In the verses before this section in 1 Corinthians Paul is preaching on fleeing sexual immorality. These verses are to supplement his charge to the Corinthians to honor God with their body and the actions that they take with their body. Although sexual purity was the subject of what Paul was describing to the Corinthians when taking care of their bodies to honor God, the same can be said about honoring God with how you keep up with the maintenance of your body.

God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, created the blueprint for humans with Adam and Eve. When creating the human body he did so with a purpose. He carefully stitched us together in our mother’s wombs. He laid each hair on top of our heads, formed each finger and toe, stretched each muscle to connect and operate to move appendages. Taking care of our bodies is honoring the Creator and his creation. How to do that is conforming our minds to consider what foods we eat and the exercise we partake in to be a way to worship God.

When practicing a fast from physical laziness, we want to shift the focus of our hearts and minds to God. So, again, we ask the question how?

Here are some practical ideas of how to fast from physical laziness:

  • Wake up half an hour earlier than usual and take a prayer walk (this can be done in your home if there is unpleasant weather outside).

  • Each time you think to yourself “I deserve to sit down and rest” do 10 exercises of your choice (squats, burpees, lunges, etc.) before you take a seat. With each rep list one thing you love about God.

  • Make a goal to stand up and do 10 exercises of your choice (squats, burpees, lunges, etc.) while listing something you are thankful for with each rep.

  • Instead of sitting down at lunchtime, go for a walk and listen to worship music.

  • Make it a team effort! Get together with friends, your spouse, and/or your kiddos to do a group workout. Talk about how moving your body is taking care of the vessel that God created for us.

  • After exercising, journal or pray thanking God for the body he gave you and the way he created the human body.

You are strong. You are capable. You can do this! All because of our Father, the Creator, who made us strong and capable. He is our sustainer!

Written by: Carrie Erickson

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